No, we shouldn't forgive student loans

Lots of people on this page have asked me to comment on the various proposals to forgive hundreds of billions of dollars in student debt. Many it seems, suspect that I’ll be supportive of these efforts, since I’ve written at length about the outrageous rise of college tuition, and the scandalous ways in which hundreds of thousands of students have been conned into borrowing ridiculous sums of money to purchase degrees that never lead to an actual job. Well, for the record, I do not support student loan forgiveness.

My reasons for opposing student loan forgiveness are not a secret. I’ve written at length on this page about the fundamental unfairness of doing such a thing – especially to the millions of Americans who have paid their college debts, and sacrificed much to do so. I’ve also said that forgiving student debt would send a terrible message to the very same universities that already gouge their customers with sky-high tuition. Tuition will never come back to earth, if we bail out those who borrowed more than they could repay. Kevin Williamson, however, has summed it up better than I have. This paragraph in the attached article jumped out…

“The majority of student debt is held by relatively high-income people, poor people mostly are not college graduates, and those who attended college but did not graduate hold relatively little college-loan debt, etc. As the New York Times puts it, “Debt relief overall would disproportionately benefit middle- to upper-class college graduates.” Which ones? “Especially those who attended elite and expensive institutions, and people with lucrative professional credentials like law and medical degrees.”